As two students at the University of Maryland, my partner and I would like to leave a sustainable footprint in our community. As an architecture major myself, I study how spaces can be transformed through design and environmental factors, and how art can have an impact on the overall feeling in a space. As an electrical engineering major, my partner understands the electrical concepts that go into consuming solar energy and powering technology through sustainable efforts with the most readily available and renewable power source at our finger tips.
Our project is called the Solar Awning. On a particular bench on the UMD campus, we will construct our own unique take on a typical awning. This will serve as both an art piece that reinforces school pride, as well as a functional awning that contains photovoltaic modules that can transform the sun’s energy into a usable voltage to charge everyday electronics.
The ultimate goal is the bring the world of technology and computing outside with a longer time frame in mind. Students, faculty, and visitors are generally confined to use their technology in areas of power so that they can maintain charge on their electronics. With our solar awning, this will bring the power outside, and promote ubiquitous computing and a productive outdoor environment.
Between our alternative energy source, as well as the reused materials we incorporated into our construction, we hope to further promote sustainable efforts across campus. In a larger time frame, we aim to show the university how much of a positive impact the Solar Awning has on the community, and hopefully this design can be implemented further across campus, and ideally, beyond.
SPECIAL THANKS TO:
DCC Honors Program
- Thank you for your generous scholarship of $500 to support our project and the funds involved in its creation.
UMD Sustainability Committee
- Thank you for your generous grant to further support our construction process in our efforts to promote the movement towards a sustainable campus.